Thomas Braatz wrote (March 13, 2003):
The Autograph Score and the Original Parts:
All the cantatas of the Leipzig chorale cantata cycle were distributed the same way: the original parts went to Anna Magdalena Bach who, in turn, soon presented them to the St. Thomas School in Leipzig where they remained until the present day. All the autograph scores of this yearly cycle went to Wilhelm Friedemann Bach without exception. What happened to this score after that is shrouded in darkness. It is possible that it was temporarily in the hands of C. F. Penzel who made his own copy of the score. Then it possibly took the same route that many scores did: first to Penzel’s nephew, G. Schuster, and then to F. Hauser in whose index of Bach manuscripts it is listed as belonging to him. When this score from the Hauser Bach Manuscript Collection was sold to the BB in 1904, there were also 7 “alte Stimmen” [“old parts”], three of which were doublets (Violino 1mo; Violino 2do, and Continuo.) The other original parts (now in the Leipzig Bach-Archiv) are as follows:
5. Tromba. 1ma.:
6: Tromba 2.:
7. Tromb: 3.:
8. Hautbois Primo:
9. Hautbois 2do:
10. Hautbois 3 :
11. Violino. 1mo :
12. Violino 1mo :
13. Violino 2do:
16. Continuo: Organo.
The Autograph Title on Top of the 1st Page of the Score:
JJ. Festo Circumcisionis Xsti. Jesu nun sey gepreiset.
Above the 2nd mvt.: Aria
Above the 3rd mvt.: Recit.
Above the 4th mvt.: Violoncello piccolo solo
At the very end:
Two pages (11 & 12) of the autograph score are missing in the BB. Page 11 is behind glass in the Heimatmuseum of Saalfeld, Germany and page 12 is irretrievably lost.
No printed text of this cantata from Bach’s time has been preserved and the librettist is unknown. The basis of the text is a New Year’s chorale, “Jesu, nun sei gepreiset” by Johannes Herman (1593.) From the 3 verses that this chorale contains, the 1st and last verses were kept as is, while the middle verse supplies the ideas that are expanded into the 2 recitatives and arias. Sometimes the text of the middle verse is given verbatim as in the 1st line of the 1st Aria “Laß uns…das Jahr vollbringen” (same as the 1st line of 2nd verse of the chorale) and the 3rd line of the 2nd aria “…dein seligmachend Wort” (same as the 12th line of the 2nd verse of the chorale.
The 1st Performance:
Based upon the watermarks and the copyists used for preparing the parts, the 1st performance must have taken place on Januray 1, 1725.